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Hurricane Preparedness for Business, Property, and Estate

As Floridians, we know all too well how damaging storms can be, even when we aren’t directly in the storm’s path. The time is now to think about preparing your business, your property and your family.

All businesses should have an operational preparedness and continuity plan. The goals in a successful plan include:

Emergency procedures for personnel-

1)   Identify the key personnel and positions that are critical to your continued operations. Include key employees and support staff and communicate this plan so that all parties know their role in the event of a natural disaster.

2)   Implement an emergency plan for any personnel that may be on-site or engaged in their duties during an emergency. These can include evacuation plans or shelter-in-place procedures and need to include equipment such as fire alarms and PA systems. It is also important to make employees aware of things like designated assembly areas during an evacuation.

Preparedness kits on site - Important items to consider are personal preparedness kits (needs for basic survival such as water, food, flashlights, etc.) and business kits necessary for key personnel to carry out essential functions. These could include laptops, flash drives or vital forms and records.

If the event is a natural disaster, it means that the impact can be more widespread than just your business. If that is the case, you may need to account for your employees’ family needs and obligations as they cope with the disaster.

Records and Business Documents – In addition to your staff, business records are a vital asset. Consider a plan for records, systems and equipment that, if lost or damaged, would hinder your ability to carry out essential functions or require considerable expense to replace or repair.

Property owners should thoroughly document any damage to property. With the advent of cellphone cameras, it is easier than ever to memorialize the damage caused by a hurricane, and to provide it to an insurance carrier. It is essential to have pictures and other documentation from before the storm so the nature of the property and its condition prior to the damage can be shown to an insurance company.

As soon as communication is restored after severe weather, a notice on any property loss should be placed with the insurance company immediately. Many insurance policies are written to specifically order “immediate” notice of a loss and get an adjuster out to survey any damage. It is extremely important to point out to them all of the damage cause so that it can be properly documented.

It is critical to keep important documents safe (and available) during the hurricane season. Consider a portable safe or fireproof box for storing social security cards, passports, birth certificates, estate planning documents, deeds, titles and valuables.

Hurricane season is an important yearly reminder that we all need to evaluate our personal and professional needs and ensure we all have a plan for the things we work so hard to protect.

If you are in need of any help with your business, real estate, or estate planning in preparing for Hurricane Season, please call the Kendrick Law Group at (407) 641-5847 or and schedule a complimentary consultation.

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